Capital Markets Elite Group Review
Commissions and Fees
Tools and Features
Education and Resources
If you’re in the market for an online trading brokerage then you may have stumbled upon Capital Markets Elite Group. CMEG is an offshore, online trading brokerage that has the industry buzzing. Does Capital Markets Elite Group have what you need? Read our in-depth review to find out what you need to know.
About Capital Markets Elite Group
Capital Markets Elite Group (CMEG) is an offshore online trading brokerage that provides access to over 100 global markets in 24 countries and financial trading instruments from stocks, options, bonds, futures, CFDs, and forex. Since the broker is licensed by the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission as a broker-dealer and investment advisor, the PDT rule doesn’t apply. This means that traders with accounts as small as $500 can trade with margin up to 6-to-1 for accounts above $2,500 USD. They also offer managed portfolios, personal investment advisors, and trader/investor education.
CMEG Commissions and Fees
CMEG has so many products that it can be overwhelming at first. Keep in mind there are three types of accounts: Standard, Active, and Fund Management:
The Standard Account is suited for self-directed and active investors provider full access to research, analysis, education, and Traders Elite Terminal trading platform, which is basically the Interactive Broker’s Trader Work Station (TWS) whiteboard. Minimum deposit is $2,500 USD. Standard Account commissions for U.S. equities are $8.95-per trade and $0.0075-per share.
The Active Account is suited for active traders with direct access routing and up to 6-to-1 margin intra-day for accounts over $2,500 USD and 2-to-1 overnight margin. A $500 minimum deposit is required. Traders get access to multiple platform choices, including Traders Elite Pro with DAS Trader and Sterling Trader interfaces. Active account commissions start at $3.95 per-trade and $0.007-per share on monthly volume up to 350,000 shares and drop to $1.95-per trade and $0.0035-per share on monthly volume over one-million shares. There are also ECN rebates and pass-through fees for direct-routing to consider. This account is “not
Intended for U.S. citizens or residents”. It’s also important to pay attention to the maintenance margin requirements, which range from 100% for accounts under $500 to 16% for accounts above $2,500.
The Fund Management Account is a personalized portfolio management service where an experienced portfolio manager constructs ETF Asset Allocation Model Portfolios for clients. The investments have a two-year time horizon, but clients have full access, transparency, and control to manage the account as there are no lock-in periods or penalties. There is a $5,000 minimum investment and a 2.5% annual management fee.
HTB Short-Sell Locates and Fees
Active accounts can short-sell stocks but must meet margin policy rules. Stocks that are hard-to-borrow (HTB) incur a per-share locate fee (IE: 0.05-per share locate on 200 shares incurs a $10-fee) in addition to a $25 service charge. Overnight shorts incur a Short Position Overnight Fee of 0.5% of the value of the position. CMEG doesn’t offer margin or short stocks under $5-per share.
Software and Exchange Data Fees
The Traders Elite Trading terminal platform is $25-per month. However, real-time quotes and exchange fees are extra depending on the exchanges you select. For intra-day traders, these can also include Nasdaq Total View and NYSE Open Book for deep level 2 data. Combinations and packages are available. Users can also suspend accounts, so they don’t incur data fees when they are inactive. Expect to pay at least $30-to-$60 in exchange and data fees with an Active trading account just for U.S. equities alone. Traders Elite Pro powered by DAS Trader software is $115-per month, and Traders Elite Pro powered by Sterling Pro is $99-per month. Software rebates kick in when generating at least $500 in monthly commissions for Sterling Pro and $650 in commission for DAS Trader. DAS Trader provides a free mobile app while Sterling’s mobile app is an additional $25-per month.
Demo accounts come with each platform, and users can easily switch between them through the order entry window.
Pre-Market and Post-Market Trading Hours
It’s important to remember specific times when using CMEG. The pre-market trading starts at 7:30 AM EST. Unlike mainstream brokers that end the post-market trading session at 8:00 PM EST, CMEG ends post-market trading at 5:30 PM EST. It’s imperative not to overlook the post-market end time since unclosed positions will be taken overnight afterward and can incur overnight position fees on short positions.
Platform Features and Tools
CMEG’s Traders Elite Trading (TET) terminal platform is basically a version of the Interactive Brokers (IB) TWS platform. DAS Trader and Sterling Trader Pro can be connected to TET since they tend to have better charting functionality. Most of the features of IB TWS are available on TET.
All the Traders Elite Trading platforms have solid charting capabilities with bar, candlestick, and line charts with intervals ranging from 1-minute to months. The trading indicators, including moving averages to stochastic oscillators and Bollinger Bands are standard. Personally, I prefer the DAS Trader platform charting, but Sterling layouts are very comprehensive with detachable windows.
Level 2 and Direct Routing
DAS Trader and Sterling both include level 2 trading data with the monthly subscription fees. However, quote data and exchange fees are required for options data, and any other order books and asset classes. Direct order routing through level 2 window is my preferred method of execution. To speed things up, I like to use and configure hot-keys, especially for open order cancellations.
Traders can toggle between real cash trading accounts and the demo accounts on all platforms. Direct order routing is available with DAS and Sterling platforms. I like how Sterling lets traders’ toggle between demo and live accounts through the level 2 order entry. I find it very useful to toggle, especially when hitting a performance slump. It’s a good way to work out the kinks without drilling a hole in your account.
Standard streaming headline newsfeeds are available on all platforms. Data is pulled from various free sources. Add-on services to Benzinga, Briefing, and FlyontheWall.com are available through the individual platforms.
All platforms have configurable scanners. I personally prefer DAS Trader default Hi/Lo Hit List, which immediately streams stocks that are getting the action and hitting screens. Pre-market Gappers are very useful to help plan out your morning watch list. As for configuring exotic scans, Sterling has the edge with that. Nothing will come close to the scanners you will find in a standalone platform like Trade Ideas or Equityfeed, but these serve as a good starting point.
The Global Financial Traders Academy
CMEG regularly provides trading and investment educational training content through its Global Financial Traders Academy (GFTA). These are composed of self-paced courses, archived, and live webinars with on-demand education. Some of the features include Zacks-powered stock screener, economic news and calendar, and analysts-on-demand.
Watch lists enable you to optimize your time by selectively tracking stocks you’re familiar with. All platforms have watch list capabilities. It’s all a matter of how much screen real estate you have. I highly recommend having at least two-monitors to get a macro and micro view of the markets.
CMEG Platform Differentiators
There’s more depth to CMEG than many other offshore online brokers thanks to their partnership and integration of Interactive Brokers framework. The most distinguishing aspect is the ability to open accounts with minimum balances starting at $500 and having up to 6-to-1 margin leverage.
What Type of Trader CMEG Is Best For
This is where it gets tricky. The small minimum account balance requirements are ideal for newbie traders, but the increased leverage and smaller bankroll can vaporize newbies quickly. It’s too easy to blow right through the small balances as there is no room for error either from margin calls or fees. I would say CMEG is best suited for experienced traders that are looking for leverage without PDT restrictions. If you are not trying to bypass the PDT rule, a traditional discount broker will likely be more suitable for you.
- Very small account minimums to get started from $500 USD
- Generous 6-to-1 intra-day margin for accounts above $2,500 USD
- Direct routing capabilities through DAS Trader and Sterling Trader platforms
- Access to hundreds of markets and financial products on a single platform
- Managed investment accounts for less experienced and active investors
- Commissions are expensive with all the additional fees
- U.S. citizens and residents are prohibited from opening Active Accounts